"It's not like that any more, of course," Cooper said.
New owners converted three of the floors back to hotel rooms around 2007, but most of the building remains SRO, Schave said.
Another section serves as a hostel that is marketed toward European tourists, he said
It was not clear if Lam was staying in one of the hotel rooms, which offer more privacy, or the hostel.
Repeated calls by CNN to the Cecil Hotel management were not returned Wednesday and Thursday.